Astrea and Outwood Grange in the running to take over Wakefield City Academies Trust schools

9th October 2017 at 15:45
Wakefield City Academies Trust
An announcement about how Wakefield City Academies' 21 schools will be rebrokered is expected tomorrow

Astrea Academies Trust and Outwood Grange Academies Trust are among the organisations that have been in talks about taking on schools run by Wakefield City Academies Trust, Tes can reveal.

The Department for Education is set to make an announcement about which multi-academy trusts are in the running to take over the 21 schools operated by the troubled trust.

A statement about the re-brokering of the schools is due tomorrow and is expected to involve a number of academy chains.

Last month WCAT announced that it was giving up all of its 21 schools after concluding it was unable to rapidly improve them.

Only four of WCAT’s academies are currently judged "good" or "outstanding by Ofsted.

The chain had previously hit the headlines in 2016 over payments to companies related to Mike Ramsay, then chief executive, and his daughter. In November, Tes revealed a leaked draft report showed there was “extreme concern” in the government about the trust’s financial management.

The DfE has been under mounting pressure to quickly clarify the future of WCAT's schools.

Justine Greening, the education secretary, was recently jeered by Labour MPs in the House of Commons after sidestepping a series of questions about the trust’s failings.

petition calling for the 21 schools to be returned to their local authorities has so far attracted 1,179 signatures. 

And a motion carried at the TUC's annual conference last month called on the government "to hold immediate talks with unions representing staff at WCAT and with the relevant local authorities to guarantee the continued employment of all staff, and to address the impact of this collapse on the communities affected".

The motion also called “for a thorough and urgent independent review into the failures at the WCAT, the regulation and accountability of academy sponsors, and the role of the government in preventing future failures in the academies sector”.

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